Keep in mind that your topic may change after finding articles of interest.
Try some of these suggestions:
- Look through your class texts for something of interest
- Look through a general source providing background information such as Credo Reference
- Find specific interests in searching (Oregon Tech Library catalog; Electronic Resources)
- Flip through some journals relevant to the topic
- Talk to your professor, classmates, librarian in your subject of interest
Watch this 2 minute presentation, What is the Mind Map?
It will explain how to reach the mind map, to brainstorm, build research vocabulary, uncover connections, and find fact-based information. You may print the map as a PDF or embed this tool. Here is a mind map on cultural diversity.
Iris Godwin Alla Powers
Oregon Tech homepage, select Academics, Libraries, Electronic Resources or select the QUICKLINKS folder, Library.
Use the direct link https://www.oit.edu/library (Login)
Once you have clicked on an electronic resource, you may need to login with your Oregon Tech ID and password.
Step 2: Formulate a preliminary research question. If you have difficulty with this, librarians or your instructor are glad to help.
Step 3: From your question glean 2-3 meaningful keywords, preferably nouns, that best describe your topic.
Step 4: Find more keywords or synonyms in dictionaries, thesauri, encyclopedias, from the library catalog, or in the abstracts of articles first retrieved.
Do you need help with choosing search terms? Contact a librarian.
Academic Search Complete (published by EBSCOhost) See tutorial below.
Next is a presentation on how to search and use the features of "Academic Search Complete" by EBSCOhost. The library has many resources produced by this company. Much of what is taught may be applied in these resources.
This is not a comprehensive list. Checkout the Electronic Resources A to Z list (publisher given):
Business: Business Source Complete (EBSCOhost)
Education: ERIC (EBSCOhost)
Engineering: Applied Science and Technology (EBSCOhost)
Environment: Biological & Agricultural Index Plus
Health and Medicine: CINAHL (EBSCO), SMART Imagebase (medical illustrations, animations, videos, interactive tools, and monographs of anatomy, physiology, embryology, surgery, trauma, pathology, diseases, and conditions)
Psychology: Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection
Make sure the source has something to do with your topic. You can increase the relevancy of articles you are finding by using a few search techniques.
Researching a historical topic will allow you to use older resources. If the newest scientific research is needed, you will want the latest resources available.
Ask who wrote and who published the resource. Authors and publishers tend to leave their opinions in their written works.
Try to recognize the bias that is included in the article.
Your professor/instructor or librarian may give you different ways to evaluate the article, book, etc.
Note: Keep in mind to identify your target audience and choose supporting evidence accordingly.
Although peer-reviewed journals are always scholarly in nature, scholarly journals are not always peer-reviewed. Scholarly journals report on the results of original research and experimentation. Publication of scholarly articles requires the approval of an editorial board. Peer-reviewed or refereed journals go through a more rigorous review process of a panel of the experts before publication. See: Peer Review in 3 minutes.
- Citing your sources shows the research you have done and leads your readers to the texts you cited in your paper. For help with citing go to: Library home page – Help – Citing Sources where there are helpful presentations and select the style you prefer to learn more.
- The Purdue University Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL) serves writers from around the world.
- It is a resource for both APA 7th and 6th edition and MLA writing style. These are general guidelines, always find out what is expected in a particular class from the instructor.
- Research and Citation Resources has links to the latest Chicago Manual of Style, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Style, and the American Medical Association.